Wednesday, Feb 14, 2024 at 10:46 am

By Ethan Frank | @EthanGFrank

The great thing about sports is that anything can happen on any single day in any given venue. That is exactly what did after getting blown out by 36 points in Chapel Hill a month ago, Syracuse took down number seven North Carolina 86 to 79 inside the JMA Wireless dome. And for the orange, there are a lot of storylines.

Playing a lot more two-three-zone defense compared to the usual man-to-man. The combined scoring output of Judah Mintz and JJ Starling. 48 points from the backcourt in the victory. And for Starling specifically, this has continued a run of strong play. And for him, it’s all about how confident he is on the floor.

“Man, confidence is it’s a true key to basketball for sure. I didn’t really have confidence at the beginning of the season, but now that I have it, I’m really starting to play like the player that I know I am capable of being. You know, I just hope to maintain that confidence.”

“You know, people forget, he came off of a tough year as a freshman. When you come in with, you know, a lot of expectations, and then you come back. Then he was injured. He was coming back from injury. I just think it just took him some time. He’s just working and I think he’s very confident right now. I think, you know, the team is gelling right now. We’ve, like I said, we’ve had some tough losses, you know, whether it was 30 points or, you know, the Clemson game where you, you know, you, up. We’ve just had some tough losses and I think through all of that, you know that bonds you. I just think these guys are confident. They are starting to kind of turn that corner.”

It’s been a while since the fans inside the dome got to storm the court and they’ll have to wait another week and a half to watch their orange play inside the dome as Syracuse travels to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech this weekend and look to continue its momentum in the ACC after improving to an even 500, seven and seven against number seven North Carolina.|@EthanGFrank